Diverse in style, these upscale homes nevertheless share some common (and completely contemporary) features: Indoor/outdoor living, casual kitchens with tons of room for hanging out, and plenty of storage.

Open, Casual, and Perfectly Modern

This contemporary design displays an open floor plan that puts the kitchen and great room at the center, with an unusual island (a round table makes it feel more like a cafe) and lots of dining and living space both indoors and out. The upstairs master suite enjoys a fireplace, private deck, and two walk-in closets. Each of the two additional bedrooms up here boasts a private bath and walk-in closet, and they share a play loft. Another bedroom suite resides on the lower level, where a rec room, media space, and kitchenette create the perfect teen retreat or guest zone. See more images, information, and the floor plan.

Homage to Historical Style

This splendid seaside manor draws upon Shingle-style influences while also providing a thoroughly contemporary layout. The kitchen in particular stands out, with a huge island, plenty of room for informal dining, and easy access via a butler's pantry to the formal dining room. An elevator whisks you upstairs to the jaw-dropping master retreat (highlights include the enormous walk-in closet and a luxurious bathroom). Bedroom three shows off the view with a tower sitting room. More room for guests and fun awaits in the walkout lower level. Don't miss the widow's walk, spacious craft room, and split four-car garage. See more images, information, and the floor plan. See more images, information, and the floor plan.

Luxury Without the Fuss

This elegant home epitomizes modern luxury. On the main level, there's no formal living room, just a spacious great room that opens to the generous island kitchen. Also located on this level for easy access, the master suite includes a private patio, a fireplace, and abundant closet space. Next door, the office offers a view of the backyard and a window seat. Three more bedrooms on the lower level give family and friends plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy the wet bar, exercise room, wine cellar, and theater. See more images, information, and the floor plan.

Award-Winning, Outdoor-Focused Design

M.E. Parker Photography
M.E. Parker Photography

Here's a home that's ready for fun. Beyond the spectacular exterior, the layout facilitates all kinds of get-togethers, from intimate chats in the kitchen to swanky soirees that make use of the wet bar and the living room's impressive space. Or head outside, where the outdoor kitchen and two levels of space to roam around create the ideal way to enjoy a sunny day. Not to be missed: the deluxe master suite's jaw-dropping bathroom and the kitchen's well-designed expanse of counter space. This home won Second Place in the Model Homes category at the 2013 American Residential Design Awards. See more images, information, and the floor plan.